Between performance and theater

Vito Acconci passed away last Friday, the 28th, at 77. Acconci’s performances were partly responsible for my interest in staged photography, which then developed into an interest in durational performance, again inspired by Acconci, Tehching Hsieh and Marina & Ulay’s performances. When I heard the news about Acconci’s death I remembered something he once said about Marina Abramovic’s retrospective…

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Max Pinckers’ quest for style

Somehow Max Pinckers‘ work has never excited me much. I though it was too neat, too contrived, too pretty, too arranged, too controlled… After coming across a feature of Magnum Photos Now about Finding Your Documentary Photography Style and reading the words he chose to describe his approach to documentary photography, I went back to some…

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≡ No room à l’hasard ≡

Excerpts of Brendan Cormiers’s essay No Interest in Reality, written for The New Institute’s exhibition, 1:1 Sets for Erwin Olaf and Bekleidung, Nov 11th 2013 – March 30th 2014. Full text here. “In the documentary, On Beauty and Fall, celebrated Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf states that he has no interest in reality. He laments the…

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≡ (re)Discovering the work of Gregory Crewdson ≡

When I first saw Gregory Crewdson’s photographs, roughly 10 years ago, they didn’t appeal to me. Aesthetically, they still don’t. Throughout the years, in classes and other events, there were various encounters with his lynchian universe, but my immediate reactions weren’t changed and beyond my interest in some of the technical issues called forth by…

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┐ Adad Hannah └

© Adad Hannah, Safari #2, from the project Safari, 2011 “Safari is a collaboration between film director Denys Arcand and artist Adad Hannah produced for the exhibition Big Bang, which celebrates the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ 150th Anniversary and the opening of a new pavilion. The set for Safari is the Safari Seating Environment…

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┐ Xaviera Simmons └

© Xaviera Simmons, One Day and Back Then, 2007 © Xaviera Simmons, Landscape (2 Women), 2007 © Xaviera Simmons, If We Believe In Theory, 2009 “Simmons, as an artist, doubles down. She captures the fiction/truth dialectic as well as anyone, disarticulating assumptions about the quietly composed and staged images she makes. She’s a Brecht of…

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║ Gregory Crewdson ║

© Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, from the series Beneath the Roses, 2004 “Crewdson’s latest project falls into the tradition of classic American genres that explore the conflation of theater and everyday life. His tableaux, in their fine detail and focus on the perplexing psychology of vernacular America, evoke the paintings of Edward Hopper and the photographs…

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║ Edouard Levé ║

© Edouard Levé, La Blessure, from the series Transferts, 2004   © Edouard Levé, La Dette, from the series Transferts, 2004   “Pas de « remake », toutefois, au sens où le pratique Jeff Wall. Ni même d’interrogation critique des fondements de notre culture sur un mode postmoderniste, à la manière d’une Karen Knorr :…

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